Reaching the right journalists with relevant content is of paramount importance to create media buzz about your company’s first investment round.
By Jill McCoomber
At the very beginning of a start-up, funding – known as pre-seed funding – usually comes from within the start-up team, or loans from family and friends. This typically is followed by a seed funding round. The seed funding round is when investors – usually angel investors – provide funds before a start-up becomes operational. It’s the “idea phase,” when the founders are working to perfect their product or service. According to experts, seed funding investments can range from anywhere between $10,000 and $2 million.
Next comes funding rounds A through C or D. Round A is generally focused on startups with a business model that can elicit an immediate profit, as investors are looking for a high return on investment (ROI). In Round A, startups need to have an actual strategy for taking investments and turning them into long-term growth. Experts report that Round A investments can collect $2 million to $15 million. Typically, Round A investors are venture capital firms.
Although pitching directly to investors is necessary, it is important to reach out to journalists in both industry and general-interest media to create a buzz about your initial investment round. Pitching to journalists is very time sensitive, so be on the lookout for other news stories which make your company more relevant.
Journalists love hard data, infographics, white papers, and studies. Be sure to offer them this information as an email attachment and provide contact information for your company spokesperson so they can get direct quotes to back up the hard data. Be sure to invest the time finding the right journalists to pitch your story to. The time spent researching journalists’ ‘beats’ – the areas they write about — is well-spent, and when you send personalized pitches to your media list, be sure to mention why you think your story would be relevant to them, preferably by linking to a previous story they have written.
Creating a professional press release requires an understanding of newswriting style. The industry standard is Associated Press style, and the AP Stylebook is the most important reference book to study when creating your press release content. The goal is to provide perfectly written, newsworthy content that journalists, editors and content curators can publish as-is, and give them enough information to elicit an interview or follow-up article.
Explaining how your business is different from - and better than - others in its category is the surest way to attract the right eyes to your press release. You need to make your business stand out to journalists – which will help reach potential investors - with a press release that is interesting enough to catch the attention of not only journalists and bloggers but also the general public.
One way to provide newsworthy content is to cite experts, research data and other legitimate authorities. Educating the investor by linking to studies and news reports that shine a positive light on the business’ unique attributes is a good story angle.
Quotes from the company CEO add legitimacy and offer the only way to include opinion in a news release. The importance of a good quote in a press release cannot be understated – depending on the media being targeted, the quote might be the only portion of your release that's printed. Not only do quotes bring a more human side to your release, they also lend credibility by offering detailed information from the people directly involved in the newsworthy project — the primary source. Use a quote from a senior executive to explain why investors should provide funding to your company and tout the benefits your product or service offers to existing and future consumers. Your goal is to explain why your company is a good investment, and content within a quote can offer the CEO’s opinions while the remaining content must rely only upon provable data and facts.
Be sure to follow up with the journalists you contact after your initial pitch to offer additional information and ask for input on your release’s newsworthiness. Tips from the journalists you communicate with on a regular basis can help make your media outreach more effective and more professional, and therefore gain additional coverage from this and future press releases.
Faselis provides direct access to the right journalists, news editors, bloggers and content curators to help your press release content gain traction with industry and general-interest media. Your releases will never clog up journalists’ in-boxes because attachments are accessed via the Faselis portal rather than directly attached, so your studies, white papers and images don’t make for a space-hogging email.